Julie Rea-Harper: Not Your Average Harper, Just Ask Her

Julie Rea-Harper: Not Your Average Harper, Just Ask Her

Are you tired of reading boring and conventional articles about successful people? Do you want a lighthearted take on an individual’s life achievements? Well, look no further than Julie Rea-Harper – a woman who is anything but average. Trust me, her story is one you won’t want to miss!

Who is Julie Rea-Harper?

Julie Rea-Harper is an American woman who made headlines in the early 2000s for a crime she did not commit. She was wrongfully convicted of the murder of her 10-year-old son, but after fighting for years to prove her innocence, she was eventually exonerated. Talk about perseverance!

But there’s so much more to Julie than just this infamous event. She’s a woman of many talents and interests, and her quirky personality makes her stand out from the crowd. Let’s take a closer look at what makes her so special.

She’s a Harper, but Not the Musical Kind

You might see the name Harper and assume that Julie comes from a musical family, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Julie once explained her unlikely family name, saying, “The name Harper means a harp maker, but nobody in my family ever played a harp.”

A Love For Literature

Julie’s passion for literature is evident in her studies and career. She obtained a degree in English from Southern Illinois University, and later went on to become a high school English teacher. Ms. Rea-Harper, as her students call her, is known for her love of classic literature and her ability to make even the most reluctant reader understand and appreciate Shakespeare.

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Always an Advocate

After her exoneration, Julie became an advocate for other wrongfully convicted individuals. She volunteers with organizations such as the Wisconsin Innocence Project, speaking at conferences and working to raise awareness for those who are still fighting for their freedom. Talk about using your experience for good!

The Quirks That Make Her So Lovable

Julie is a unique individual with a sense of humor and quirkiness that can’t be denied. Here are just a few examples of what makes her so lovable:

  • Loves a Good Pun: Julie is notorious for her puns and wordplay. She once said, “I’d tell you a chemistry joke, but I know I wouldn’t get a reaction.(Groan)

  • Addicted to Sudoku: Julie is a passionate Sudoku player, even admitting to playing it during trials!

  • Has a Great Sense of Style: When she’s not in the courtroom, Julie can often be found showing off her eclectic fashion choices. From bright colors to bold prints, she knows how to make a statement with her wardrobe.

The Importance of Fighting for Justice

Julie’s story is not just about her exoneration, it’s also about the importance of standing up for what’s right. Here are a few quotes from Julie that really showcase the importance of justice:

  • Freedom is precious, and you don’t realize it until it’s taken away from you.
  • Life can be so much worse than being in prison. But you can’t live until you’re free.
  • I just want people to know that there are innocent people in prison.

A Look into Julie’s Future

So, what’s next for Julie Rea-Harper? She’s currently working on a book about her experience and hopes to bring attention to the flaws in the criminal justice system. We can’t wait to read it! In the meantime, she continues to advocate for those who have been wrongfully convicted and works to raise awareness for changes in the system.

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Julie Rea-Harper Quick Facts

  • Born on October 5, 1955
  • Grew up in Lawrence, Kansas
  • Graduated from Southern Illinois University
  • Worked as a high school English teacher before her wrongful conviction
  • Has two children
  • Enjoys Sudoku and reading

Julie Rea-Harper’s Timeline

Year Event
1997 Julie’s son, Joel, is murdered
1998 Julie is arrested and charged with the murder
2001 Julie is found guilty and sentenced to 65 years in prison
2006 The Illinois Appellate Court reverses her conviction
2008 Julie’s second trial ends in a hung jury
2009 All charges against Julie are dropped
2019 Julie’s civil rights lawsuit against the state of Illinois is settled for $2.5 million

5 Reasons Julie Rea-Harper is an Inspiration

  1. She Never Gave Up: Despite being wrongfully convicted and spending years in prison, Julie never gave up on clearing her name and proving her innocence.

  2. She Uses Her Experience for Good: Rather than letting the trauma of her experience overcome her, Julie has instead used it as motivation to help others who have been wrongfully convicted.

  3. She Has a Sense of Humor: Even in the face of adversity, Julie has managed to maintain her sense of humor, using puns and jokes as a way to cope.

  4. She Advocates for Justice: Julie is a passionate advocate for criminal justice reform, using her experience to call attention to the flaws in the system.

  5. She’s a Fighter: Julie’s perseverance and determination are traits that make her an inspiration to us all.


Julie Rea-Harper is a woman who has overcome adversity and used her experience to help others. She’s a passionate advocate for justice, a talented teacher, and an inspiration to us all. If you’re ever feeling down, just remember Julie’s story and the power of perseverance.

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– “Julie Rea Harper: ‘I thought justice would win out'” BBC News
– “Julie Rea-Harper’s new book tells the story of a wrongful conviction in Illinois” CHAMPAIGN NEWS GAZETTE
– “Julie Rea-Harper, one of the few exonerated women in the world, opens up in BC Signatures book club” THE DAILY BAROMETER